By March 1, 2017 Read More →

US crude stocks rise, production up again: EIA

US crude stocks

US crude stocks were expected to increase by 3.1 million barrels last week, instead the EIA reported crude inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels. Reuters photo by David McNew.

US crude stocks up by 1.5 million barrels

US crude stocks rose last week despite an increase in refinery output, while gasoline and distillate inventories dropped, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA reports crude inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels last week which is lower than analysts’ expectations of an increase of 3.1 million barrels.

Following the release of the report, oil prices fell slightly, erasing Wednesday gains to flat.

In the United States, crude production rose to 9.03 million b/d for the week ending Feb. 24, according to the EIA.  Overall, US crude stocks hit another record, rising to 520.2 million barrels.


David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker located in Washington told Reuters “The EIA stats don’t offer much in the way of surprises this week. The increase in refinery utilization signals that we have likely passed the peak of refinery maintenance for this season.”

“Gasoline demand doesn’t decline, but this is cold comfort for the gasoline bulls hoping for a rally,” added Thompson.

EIA data showed refinery crude runs increased by 393,000 b/d and refinery utilization rates were up by 1.7 percentage points.  The increase in refinery utilization is reported even though refiners are in the midst of scheduled maintenance season.

US crude imports increased last week by 793,000 b/d while exports fell to 721,000 b/d, down from 1.21 million b/d in the previous week.  Analysts say the decrease may be because of shipping delays or other factors.

A Reuters poll had expected gasoline stocks to drop by 1.8 million barrels last week.  Instead, the decrease amounted to 546,000 barrels. The price of reformulated blendstock gasoline was down by 1.7 per cent to $1.7005 per gallon, compared to $1.7173 prior to the report.

Distillate stockpiles, including diesel and heating oil, dropped by 925,000 barrels.  Analysts expected stockpiles to drop by 611,000 barrels.

“We’ve still got this dichotomy in terms of demand where distillate demand is really strong year on year on a four-week moving average, whereas gasoline demand remains in check,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at energy data provider ClipperData, in an interview with Reuters.

At the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub rose by 495,000 barrels, according to the EIA.



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